MILLBURN, NJ — At Tuesday night's Millburn Township Committee meeting, the members of the committee heard from artist Michael Cooper, who submitted his final proposal for a new sculpture in Taylor Park.

Cooper's proposed sculpture, entitled "All Together Now" depicts a series of figures posed around a mill wheel design lying on its side forming a platform and seating area, with a smaller mill wheel standing upright nearby, and is intended to depict themes of unity in town.

The mill wheel is a common theme in town, appearing on the town seal and being used as the focus for a town-wide art project in 2019.

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As part of the proposal, the timeline of construction was estimated to be approximately several months following the signing of the contract, and is expected to cost just a shade under $27,000 when fully completed. It will take two months to engineer and create the molds for the figures, three months to finish the figures and one month to paint and cure them.

In the meantime, grading and pavement work will be done to make the site ready for the sculpture. Once all the other elements are in place, it should take just a few days to install the figures, thereby finishing off the sculpture.

For Cooper, the chance to install a sculpture in Taylor Park is an opportunity he relishes, as he said a park is a unique space for artwork.

"I was particularly excited that this sculpture project is for a park," Cooper said. "A park is a place where people and nature intentionally coincide, and it is a constantly changing scene."

His hope is that with the change of daylight, seasons, weather and foliage will all play a part in shifting the  colors and shadows at all points of the year, creating a more dynamic sculpture.

"A park is overall a positive place," Cooper added. "Therefore, the art in a park should reflect and enhance that positive, playful, free feeling. It should also eb a tribute to the surrounding community and their values. Millburn is a thriving, diverse community, and I wanted to make a visual and honor the concept of its people standing strongly together - in these challenging times and into the future."